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Have you ever observed your children monitoring you and what you are doing or saying without even blinking their eyes? Have you wondered how do they pick up certain characteristics during their growing up years which you have not directly fostered? Well, that is Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development wherein he states clearly that children right from birth move through four stages of mental development. He study largely concentrated on how children acquired knowledge and what is the nature of intelligence.
Children are adventurours right from birth and take mental notes of everything they see, hear and calculate from the situation around them. You must have hear elders in the family suggest not to fight in front of the kids or to act and preach the same thing. That is plainly because of the fact that they sponge in their head is soaking in all the information around them and unlike the nature of the sponge very little can be squeezed out after the information is affirmed in their little heads.
Thus, through observation, exploration they build on the knowledge and keep adding information and adapt the previous ideas in order to accomodate the new ones.
Piaget believed that children take an active role in the learning process, acting much like little scientists as they perform experiments, make observations, and learn about the world. As kids interact with the world around them, they continually add new knowledge, build upon existing knowledge, and adapt previously held ideas to accommodate new information.
How Piaget Developed the Theory
Born in 1800 n Switzerland, Piaget was an enthusiastic learner right from his young age. He published his first scientific paper at the young age of 11 and later on went on to become an assistant to Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon. At that point there were working on their IQ test.
Piaget was much inspired by his nephew and daughter. He contested the then thought that children were merely the smaller version of adults and even went on to prove that children thought differently when compared to adults. He informed the world that intelligence grows with age, which can be divided into four stages.
Piaget’s stages are:
- Sensorimotor stage: birth to 2 years
- Preoperational stage: ages 2 to 7
- Concrete operational stage: ages 7 to 11
- Formal operational stage: ages 12 and up